Friday, January 27, 2023

Wenger: I love Cesc, but we didn’t need him

Arsene Wenger says the football fraternity will look back on Cesc Fabregas’ career and recognise the positive influence had by Arsenal, but insists he’s no regrets about not re-signing the Spanish international.

Confirming for the umpteenth time that the Gunners did indeed have first refusal on the midfielder, the boss spoke from the heart about his love for the 27-year-old as a player and a man before underlining the need for all parties to move on.

Facing the media ahead of a showdown with his old captain at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Wenger remarked:

“I think Fabregas will have a great career because he’s a great player. When he looks back he will find that Arsenal and myself had a very positive impact on his career. Nobody can dispute that.

“I hope that, for every single person in the world, they have the feeling that we had a positive influence and that he had a great career. That is all you can do.

“I wish him well – he’s a great player, and a person and player I love. Once he left us, he left us. We are all professionals and we have to accept that.”

Drawing attention to the myriad options he has at his disposal in attacking midfielder, the boss underlined he’s no right to quibble with the fact Fabregas eventually ended up at Chelsea.

“When he left we bought Ozil to buy an offensive player,” he said. “We have Cazorla, we have Wilshere, we have Ramsey, we have Oxlade-Chamberlain, who are all offensive players.

“We were not in the need to buy offensive players. It makes sense if you just look at the balance of the team. I think that’s a decision that is easy to understand.

“I think everybody has the freedom to go where they want. We have to respect their decisions. As long as we are not in contention we cannot stop people going where they want.”

The manner in which Fabregas pushed for an exit has left a sour taste in the mouths of certain Arsenal fans. And quite frankly, that’s not overly surprising. At the same time there’s no denying the quality of the player and the talismanic passion he showed during his eight years with us.

It’ll be strange to see him in a Chelsea shirt on Sunday, of that there’s no doubt. It’s something which Arseblog touches on in this piece for the Guardian. Well worth a read in my humble opinion.

Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
the only sam is nelson

I hope that the travelling fans give Cesc a classy round of applause but save the cheers for when Jack dumps him on his arse before sliding the ball through for Welbeck to score.


I hope for a change he does not get boo’ed. We tend to fall out with our players once they leave.

You gotta respect how Lampard got cheered against City.


against *Chelsea* I mean


I don’t remember Pires being booed when we played Villarreal last Tuesday.


I don’t remember playing Villareal last Tuesday

the only sam is nelson

that’s because it was Eboue, against Fenerbace, on Weds


I always had trouble telling those two apart…

Highbury Baptist Church

Yeah, all white and black people look alike to me.

fresh prince

Just saying, but he sits pretty deep at Chelsea, alongside Matic.

Definitely deserves a cheer on sunday and will get one from me.


I think this illustrates one of the “problems” of Wenger as a manager. Cesc is better than several of our midfield options, and may be more suited to the league than Ozil. If Wenger were more ruthless he would have moved someone on to make room for Cesc. But Wenger is too committed to seeing his team develop, he will stick with the players until they make it, or fail. The problem is that Arsenal are always carrying a few of these types of developing players, great for a football academy, not so great for dominating and winning stuff.



and I hope 10 years from now, Arsene won’t look back and weep at how many Arsenal years he has wasted “believing”.

Imagine what Cesc would have brought to our team? Imagine!


I dont get how a lot of fans think its acceptable for players to come and leave as they wish. No player is bigger than the club and lets remember that Cesc PAID off his Arsenal contract to force his move through to Barca. He clearly didn’t want to stay when we needed him, and now things didn’t go to plan back home he thought he’d just walk straight back in? I always suspected that this deal was done by Chelsea ages ago. When Chelsea sold Mata to United, it made no sense. Who sells their best player (for two… Read more »

Formerly Known As El Capitano

I’m pretty sure Chelsea sold Mata to meet with the new financial regulations in 2014.


Completely with you on the first paragraph but the second paragraph makes you sound like a conspiracy theorist. I really think it’s as simple as Wenger said – they just had no room for Cesc. Look, I was a massive fan of Cesc. I still love to watch him play. But I get it, we’ve moved on and Özil, regardless of the amount of abuse and criticism that’s levied his way, is exactly the player we need in my opinion. We haven’t always performed well but singling out individuals when the entire team falls short is just too easy. Just… Read more »


“As long as we are not in contention we cannot stop people going where they want.” That can be read in two ways. I agree that with Ozil, we have a creative playmaker who should knit the team together. My criticism is that this love for Wilshere makes Wenger play Ozil out of position. Why? Play players in their best position, get the best out of them. This can’t be the season wilshere begins to fulfill his potential. This, and every season must be when Arsenal compete deep into the season for trophies. The two are not mutually exclusive, but… Read more »


And why can’t this be the season that Wilshere begins to fulfill his potential, considering how immense his potential is? How would we have fared at the end of 2012 without Ramsey’s emergence had Wenger listened to the majority of fans and thrown him to the wayside? They’re not the same players and they haven’t taken the same path but you can’t argue with me (or most of the fans here) that Wilshere doesn’t have an immense potential as a playmaker and as a leader. Wenger keeps his eye on both by developing them simultaneously. Which slows down the chemistry… Read more »


We can’t afford to stockpile players or be constantly transitioning as one goes out and one comes in, Chelsea can do it and City can do it but we can’t.

Priorities need to be paid attention to, it was a shame the timing didn’t allow us to bring Cesc back but we did the right thing.


I don’t think any arsenal fan would have suggested simply buying Cesc on top of what we have. Personally, as much as I like him, I’d have looked into the rumors of Santi heading to Athletico and maybe one of Pod or Campbell leaving to accommodate Cesc coming in. The discussion at the time was, “he plays where Ozil plays..” well so far this season, he’s predominantly played deeper and Ozil has predominantly played wide… Cesc has been on fire and Ozil hasn’t. It’s already looking like one AW got wrong, but lets wait until the end of the season… Read more »


how has AW got it wrong? If Cesc was playing out on the left, I guarantee he’d have had just a hard a time as Ozil has. None of our midfielders like it there.. We had Ramsey, Jack, Santi and now Ozil, and they’ve all struggled. Wengers only mistake I think is wanting to accommodate all his best players in the starting XI. If you put Sanchez/Ox/Theo/Poldi out wide, they’d do much better cus they’ve developed in those roles, so maybe Wenger just needs to rotate the squad a bit more and drop the odd player here and there so… Read more »


You answer your own question AGunner.


I respecfully draw your attention to the second part of my first sentence, ‘or be constantly transitioning as one goes out and one comes in’. I don’t want to see a guy who was instrumental in getting us our first trophy in years out of the door just because Cesc wants to come back after deciding he didn’t want to play for us, I’m sure he would have done alright but he’d have to be in the midlde as he can’t play wide and without Matic next to him cleaning up his mess he’d look a lot less solid, his… Read more »


That’s not the point. Ozil is our no.10, he’s only playing on the wing temporarily, and if we bought Fabregas *we* would be using him as a no.10, we would *not* be playing him in that deeper midfield role, for which we have Ramsey, Wilshere, The Ox and maybe one or two others.


“But Wenger is too committed to seeing his team develop, he will stick with the players until they make it, or fail”

What horrible traits for a manager, commitment to team development and belief in your players…


Calm down man


That is true, but i hope that never changes. Because that is what differentiates us from scums like chelsea or madrid whose faith in their players is as good as shit. This differentiator in more common language is called ‘value’.


And their trophy cabinets over the last ten years compared to ours? They have no class at either Chelsea or Madrid but they treat footballers the way they deserve to be treated. Vieira was leaving every summer until he finally did, Henry went when it suited him, Van Persie left as did Cesc. Most of our best players have left when it suited them and the four I’ve just listed were also captain at the time. Cesc is better than Santi, Diaby or Wilshere, for me he’s better suited to the Premier League than Ozil and he’s, from memory, less… Read more »


Less injury prone? Cesc got injured so many times, still does.

Formerly Known As El Capitano

Cesc’s hamstring was made of paper when he was out Arsenal. He was constantly out injured.
Remember the Aston Villa game at home when were 1-1, Cesc just back from an injury came off the bench.. took the free kick and scored, then pulled his ham string in the celebration and went off,.


If we didn’t need him, if our midfield is so full, why did we bring in a bedridden Swede last January?


Exactly, why buy a defensive midfielder when you can buy an attacking mnidfiel;der, they do the same thing, right?

Poldi's Hyper Masculine Voice

No one talks shit about that gorgeous mofo.


Was Cesc available last January? News to me.


In hindsight, a year loan (yuck!), to Barca would have been a easier solution for everyone! I’m not say I don’t appreciate Ozil, I really like him. However replacing Cesc cost us £ 42M! Like Wenger mentioned it’s time to move on, it would be so easy if Wenger was vindicated in his faith to take on the money bags Chelsea & local bully Fergi, with young players he developed like Cesc, RVP, Clichy. He was proved partly right as they are all playing at the top level now, with league titles with their new clubs. No doubt for every… Read more »


Sorry that should have read Denilson and not Denis.


Really don’t want to see him booed by our lot to be honest. He’s the one that got away – the situation was what it was and now he’s at Chelsea, but it’s not like he engineered this happening or has shown any disrespect toward Arsenal, unlike your Adebayors and Nasris

Petit's Handbag

Chelsea Cesc is evil, all bearded and frowny.
I still remember the smiley, baby faced Cesc. Like the ex girlfriend I can’t accept is gone.
But she’s a cunt

2014-2015 = the year we've been waiting for

If I may add…

“But she’s a cunt… who every day sucks off the most despicable, loathsome, reprehensible bastard known to mankind.”

Fergie the Gooner

Evil Cesc’s hair is also falling out. It must be all that worrying about if John Terry’s going to try it on with his missus.


It can’t have been an easy decision. But the consequence likely would have been selling one of Ramsey or Wilshere. Not only due the lack of playtime & discontent but to raise money, which while improved is surely not limitless.

Only time will tell, but it was a valid decision.

The Lawyer

I would have sold Cazorla. Wenger doesn’t even seem to view him as first choice anymore, and he is 29. Let’s face it we could’ve got 15m for him and stumped up just a bit extra for Cesc, who is inarguably a better player than Santi. Cesc could have played a bit deeper than for Barca, where they were obviously playing him in the wrong position, in CM.


Discontent? like Wilshere would take the ball and run away? That’s exactly the kind of childish attitude that should not be fostered. The best players want to play with the best players, and compete with them for a place in the squad. That is how the team as a whole raises its level. All wilshere does these days is run into four defenders and complain. Now that he has his chance with Ramsey injured again, I hope he takes it. But don’t put sand in your own eyes thinking these players love the club. Given a chance, they will leave… Read more »


Worst decision of Wengers career? Probably, we will only know if Fabregas stars in Chelsea’s next three premier league titles.

But we still have incredible midfield talent, I still don’t understand why you would turn down an opportunity to improve your squad with zero risk?


And we did have “Cash Reserves” Arseblogs phantom player to trade for him…


Not at zero cost though, which is still pertinent to us even if we can spend big money on players now.


News hound there’s a typo, it reads “captain fat Stamford Bridge” instead of “at”.


And he plays for Mnachester City now, anyway.


I thought it was better the original way.

Red staff

He still love’s us, you can tell that from the interview’s he’s done. I hope we show class and give him a cheer.

The Lawyer

“We were not in the need to buy offensive players. It makes sense if you just look at the balance of the team. I think that’s a decision that is easy to understand.” Just as well we bought all of those defensive players to balance the squad out then, Wenger.

The Only Olivier is Giroud

This is hard tocope with. Love for Cesc versus hate for Chelsea. Impossible to marry the two. I think by just avoiding Chelsea matches I’ve sort of blocked out Cesc playing for them, and I’m only forced to contemplate the fact that he is one of them now for the forst time.

Just hope we beat them and he doesn’t get booed and we can all move on. And Mourinho can honestly get fucked.

El Doctor

Had he joined any other club but Chelsea I’m sure this would get nowhere near the coverage that it does; as it is, the way things have shaped up in the PL since Abramovich and his dirty money arrived on English shores in 2003, and then with Mourinho in his two spells at CFC, Chelsea have simply become a team and a club about which there is so little – if nothing – to admire or even respect either on or off the pitch. So for Fab to go and strengthen what is essentially the polar opposite of the Arsenal… Read more »

The Only Olivier is Giroud

Apologies for the typos, getting used to a new phone.


Why don’t we cheer him? That would be more likely to put him off ( a tear in his eye?) than booing (determination to say ‘f*** you’ back).


I remember being in the crowd when Thierry Henry came back with Barcelona. He was cheered onto the pitch, cheered while he was on the pitch until the point he went clear down the left and then got booed very loudly. Very funny at the time and he mucked up his shot. I suggest the same for Cesc.

Gooner Iceland

He left us period. Be professinal on sunday. He gave his best during his time. We have Great players. I dont want a player who left us.


Fabregas was captain of the arsenal ship and deserted it when he was still needed. I respect the fact that he’s a professional player and must look first at his personal and footballing interests. And I respect the dedication he showed while with us capped by the penalty he smashed against barca with a broken leg. But I won’t be cheering a player in a chelsea shirt, not even a thierry henry. The fans should focus all their attention and support on arsenal players ‘cos they are all that matter this weekend. Bottom line, I will never boo fab, but… Read more »


He didn’t need to play in the 3 behind the striker. He can also play in the 2 in front of the defenders, as he does with Chelsea. I think I would have swapped Santi AND Ozil for Cesc. I usually agree with Wenger’s decisions but not this one.


I said at the time that we’d just handed Chelsea the title.
I was supportive of Arsene through everything up until he let Cesc sign for them cunts
It hurts so much, and this decision is one which will come and bite us time and again.
Cesc Fabregas for £30 million is the biggest no brainer I can think of.
Ozil isn’t half the player Cesc is, sad but true!


Rubbish. Ozil is a much better player.


TommyGun, You are biased as an Arsenal fan. Try to see it in an objective manner.


The biggest shame is that it does strengthen Chelsea so much, but that doesn’t mean we should have gone for him. Taking players away by stockpiling them is a Chelsea thing, not an Arsenal thing.

Gooner from Pretoria.

I like the fact that he convinced Alexis to come…

Saffa Gooner

Who is this “we” who didn’t need him! I needed Cesc! My 3 three brothers who are all Arsenal fans needed Cesc! Aside from the good, technical reasons stated by Wenger, reclaiming Cesc would have sent one helluva message to the football world about where Arsenal now is. In your face Barca! In your face Chelsea, PSG, Bayern, City, RM! Here is a player who is wanted everywhere, but when he leaves Barca he wants to come home, because that is what Arsenal is all about. And even if we don’t have “enough” space for him, we’ll take him so… Read more »


This just brings a feeling of deja vu; I recall how heart breaking it was to see RVP excel so well in his first season at United. Every goal he scored felt as though I was being stabbed in the heart with a 10 foot dagger. I almost cried when RVP scored a volley without even looking at the post. Fast forward to this season. I’m not so sure how much of Cesc being the differentiating factor for Chelsea I can take. Much as I love him, we should have taken him back in a heart beat, owing to the… Read more »


I don’t want to boo him, I don’t want to acknowledge him. I don’t care what he does anymore as he is no longer our concern. Ozil is a much better player who chose to leave the biggest club in the world (after Arsenal) to come and play for us during his prime years. I think he should be getting our applause and support and the lazy journalists that jump on the Ozil bashing bandwagon should get off his back.

Gudang Bedil

Don’t care about Cesc, just beat the Chavs and kick the shit out of Terry.


Cheer him? The way he left was absolutely disgusting and painfully disrespecting. I don’t suffer from short memory.I remember the 1.5 seasons he almost refuse to play, the shit attitude, the shirt wearing, his display vs his beloved Barcelona in CL. And he was our captain…I will definitely not cheer this cunt.


And he’s playing for Chelsea ffs!!!


You easily forget how much he gave us. He broke his leg trying to score a penalty FFS.
while he was in Barca, he always showed us love. Congratulates us on any milestone victory. Tweets about Arsenal.

You forget we are only humans. He was surrounded by mediocre players. If you were a star in the midst of street lights, would you not seek to better yourself? Other than resign to living the life of a local champion?


And? Still left, didn’t he? Barca’s campaigning left a bad taste in the mouth, and no amount of purple rhetoric will change his tacit approval of it by his silence.

Some are bent out of shape purely by his leaving, and some by the style of it, one is to be expected and the other is entirely reasonable. I ain’t gonna boo him (not that it will make much diference as I sit in my living room) but I’m not going to look at him the same way that I expect Chelsea fans looked at Lampard.


The team needed Alexis more than Cesc. I don’t care about Chelsea players not even Cesc. Lets move on. We have Alexis now.

Gooner from Pretoria.

Gnabry making way for cesc before he himself kick starts his career with us you must be delusional…

Saffa Gooner

So we have to wait for Gnabry to perhaps be a star one day rather than take a proven star in his prime, experienced in the PL and who knows Arsenal inside-out? How many Gnabrys have we had who never made it…

Saffa Gooner

I honestly find it strange, given the choice, why it would be a better to hold on to Gnabry and Podolski rather than take Cesc back. Seriously, please explain. By the time Cesc was Gnabry’s age he had over 150 caps. And Cesc had to get into a way more impressive starting line up.


I’m not sure booing him? Or cheering him is the answer?
Everytime I see him in a Chelsea shirt I just shake my head and look away in pure disgust and disappointment, it really is a sight that makes me feel angry and very very sad.
I’d absolutely love for us to smash them cunts in their own back yard!


Every club needs a fabregas regardless of who’s at the club. The player is that good.


What, you mean like Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey?


Every team needs Messi and Ronaldo too.. But reality means choices have to be made. Arsenal is not in a position where we can buy for the sake of it. We needed a tricky player out wide more than a Cesc.. I guess we’ll just learn to live with only having Ozil.


I’d take Cesc over either Wilshire or Cazorla. Nothing against those two, but Cesc has got similar skills, but more size and physical strength. But most important, Cesc scores goals, and has a much stronger shot. Still, all three are very good players. But as much as Cesc is a somewhat better player, bringing him back would have caused tremendous disruption to what is a fairly cohesive team. Simply not worth rocking the boat. You’d have to sell a very good player who is 100% loyal and getting a lot of game time. Loved by the fans. It not the… Read more »


Santi’s a better shooter than Cesc. Cesc just used to make the late runs or runs from deep that Aaron makes now to get his goals. His shooting skills were not all that great when he was with us. And comparisons between Cesc and Ozil or Santi don’t make sense. Ramsey is the closer comparison role-wise. Cazorla mostly plays wider for us, and Ozil drifts more and is closer to a pure creative. Cesc stuck to the middle more like Aaron does. If Wenger were to be ruthless Aaron and Jack would have been the casualties of that deal. I… Read more »


I personally don’t like players who forced a move out of club deserves another chance to play for THE ARSENAL. I still remember how hurt I was when he left. He has barca DNA. Whatever love he shows for Arsenal, I will never believe. If someone leave me like that in my life, no matter how much I miss them, I will never welcome them back in my life. He is a Chelsea player, and all Chelsea players are cunt and that includes cesc.


They’ve got Cesc, but we’ve got Mesut Özil, Mesut Özil, Mesut Özil


Cesc was in our team for 7 years and we won nothing, so can’t say he’d bring success


I do not think he deserves any applause from the Arsenal fans. That does not mean i’ll boo him, i am just indifferent about him

happy gunner

How can you compare lampard and chelshit to fabregas and arsenal? Lampard was forced to leave because that cunt mourinho didn’t want him as he was getting too old. Fabregas left when he was getting to the best of his years. Each fan is entitirled to his own opinion , he may get boo’d and there is nothing wrong with that IMO.

Glory Hunter

Its strange that we as fans are more frightened/apprehensive to play against Chelsea than we were against the defending Champs – Man City

I think the game will be like exactly like the 1st game back at Old trafford after the 8 – 2 mauling.
We’ll probably lose 2 nil or 2 – 1.

Obviously i hope im wrong.


With Arteta, Flamini and Rosicky in the twilight of their careers who is going to replace them. Still think he was a bargain. Imagine Ozil alongside Fab. Maybe they were scared of having too many chefs in the same kitchen.


You don’t buy Fabregas to sit him in front of the defense or on the bench.

Fergie the Gooner

Good piece for The Guardian Blogs.


Personally I hope he picks up an injury that keeps him out. I could never cheer chelski scum, which is all he is

Also, Wenger needz to stop fucking allowing us to strengthen opponents! I have always supportes Wenger, but he needs to stop being so naive

Jamaican Gooner

@neutral what youre saying is absolutely retarded cesc is 27 almost 28 considering how young and promising our midfielders are bring in cesc would’ve halt their development we couldn’t move cazorla for him because santi to me is one of the important players to Wenger’s system.. He did the right thing to not sign him..


Cesc is no doubt a very good player. The Arsenal team was built around him and he decided the grass was greener somewhere else. Now imagine we brought him back and next year or the year after he decides to pull another stunt like he did a couple of years ago. Win at all costs is not the Arsenal philosophy in the last many years, things like loyalty and camaraderie seem to matter to M. Wenger. And at the end of the day, I think many of the fans want this too, as evidenced by our (sometimes whiny) unwavering support… Read more »


the stage is set…cesc is gonna score 2 goals against us…He hesitates to celebrate the first but lets out a wry smile after putting in the 2nd to doom us to 4th place mediocrity for the season…


I said this when he moved to Barca: he’s dead to me. Hope he gets sent off after Jack nips the ball from him. If Cesc was such an Arsenal fan, he’d have elected to go someplace besides a club filled with cunts, managed by a thunder cunt, and supported by plastic cunts- he’d have joined a team elsewhere in Europe. His move to Chelsea shows his true character and I hope he’s haunted for the rest of his days about the temper tantrum he threw to get a move to Spain only to find out they didn’t want him… Read more »


This kind of disguises the real reasons we didn’t bring back Cesc: 1. 200k per week wages 2. The way he left – then expects us to gut our emerging young squad to welcome him back. Wenger was right. Besides Chelsea isn’t better than us this year because of Cesc, it’s because of more quality players at each position that only an oligarch can afford. I think we’re doing quite well within our model, and if we plug in a few more equally good young players on the defensive side of the ball in January and next summer, then we… Read more »

Ola Odus

You are fooling yourself, Arsenal’s wage bill has gone above that of Chelsea, but we have a clearly inferior and weaker physical and quality squad, end of.

emmy true gooner

Why all this talk of Fabregas not being signed back by Wenger is pure nonesense.I like him personally, but i think he Fabregas can play in the Moon or Pluto he belong to our past let focus on who we hav period.


I dislike Cesc Fabregas. I liked him before. But i don’t much care for him now. He chose employment which is directly related to helping John Terry and Jose Mourinho and to damaging Arsenal FC. I shall not clap him, i shall clap Mesut.


Fact is, if Fabregas came back he would still be the best player in the team.

We should be trying to improve and be the best we can be. If we can get a player in that is the best but someone has to lose out then so be it, that is the nature of the best clubs that win titles.

We’re all professionals players understand, which is why they leave us or move on from top teams


There are so many Fabregas groupies among Arsenal fans. You guys are embarrassing to this club. Thumb down is on the right below.


Cesc >> Ozil

More passion, more skill, more…everything.

Not that it matters, as I’m sure shipping off Ozil for Cesc was not an option. . But for anyone to suggest otherwise is pretty ludicrous. Almost embarassing how biased our fans are as to the skill levels of our players relative to others.

Mark Hughes

Are you saying that it is ludicrous for anyone to suggest that shipping Ozil out was an option or that the decision to not ship him out was ludicrous?


How consistently does each start for their country? For their Clubs? How did Germany do this year? Spain? Ozil consistently starts and plays. Obviously those who are hired and paid for their experience and expertise in observing and selecting players based on what they offer to the team disagree with that assessment.

I support our current players.

And I categorically disagree, even based on this season’s start, with any claim that Fabregas has more skill and passion than Ozil. From what I see it is just not true.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x